I suffered a sprained ankle on Sunday night, four days ago. I've been keeping my ankle wrapped since Monday. I'm wondering how long I should keep wrapping my ankle at this point. I'm not sure how bad the sprain was but since swelling and pain issupposed to be significantly decreased after 1-3 days in grade I sprains, I'm fairly certain it's a grade II sprain because t's still somewhat swollen and is still painful. I'm also wondering for how much longer I should keep it elevated at night. Also, should I still be using ice or heat or what?
As long as it's swelling, I would go with ice. Go ahead and keep treating it until it feels better, or at least until the swelling goes down. You should also be trying to elevate it during the day when you can. You can try doing some gentle range of motion with it, just moving it in the four directions (up, down, in, out) gently. This will help stimulate blood flow. If it doesn't start getting better at all, though, you should go see a doctor to make sure that you don't have a small fracture somewhere.
It's not swollen all that bad. It's only slightly larger than my uninjured ankle but it is still noticably bigger by a small margin. It only hurts when I move it around (Especially when I move it with a lot of force behind it.) and when I walk on it without an ace bandage on it for support.
You say I should keep it elevated during the day. Does that mean I should stop keeping it propped up on some pillows at night? And how much should I try to stay off of it. I don't have crutches and I have stuff that I have to do that I can't put off for a sprained ankle like school that requires me to walk around. Should I be on crutches? It doesn't hurt to walk on it if I have it wrapped except towards the end of the day if I've been walking on it a lot. I think I have been somewhat overdoing it this early since the sprain but I'm pretty active and it's hard to just stay in bed with my foot on some pillows. Should I be doing that more though?
It's fine to keep elevating it at night. But you can also try elevating it during the day if you get a chance. Like if you are sitting around you can put it up on another chair. Go ahead and keep wrapping it if it makes it feel better. You don't need crutches. Your basic rule of thumb at this point is to let pain be your guide. If it hurts, don't do it, otherwise, you're fine.
Ok. Thanks for your help. It doesn't usually hurt but on Wednesday, after extensive walking while shopping, it started to really ache when we went home. It also hurts when I try to use it without the ace bandage protecting it. In the mornings and at night when I haven't put the ace bandage on yet or just took it off, it hurts to walk around. It was also hurting tonight while I was washing the dishes and was standing for a while. I guess I probably need to stay off it more, it's just hard to do. Thanks for the help though.
Question, what can not resting my ankle do to it? I haven't been resting it like I should and it seems to be healing pretty slowly. It's been a week now and while the swelling and pain decreased a lot over the first few days, for the past three days or so, it hasn't change any. Would I benefit from staying off of it entirely? What might help the swelling go down?
From what I understand from my OS and PT, being active on your ankle is good for a sprain up to a certain point. My PT told me "you'll know when you are overdoing it - and at that point stop and rest."
Based on my experience with ankle sprains (and I've had a lot of them), do the RICE thing a lot for the first week or so. After that, I'll be pretty active on it, but ice and elevate in the morning and at night. It gradually gets better.
Make sure to do ankle strengthening exercises and balancing exercises. Its important to re-strengthen and get your prioperception back.
How much you rest it depends on the severity of the sprain. I didn't stay on crutches as long as I was supposed to and for the most part the sprain healed. I agree with the other posters to go based on what your ankle tells you and to do the ankle strengthening exercises.